House Cleaning

I use the Bible to inform my daily prayers. Following the direction of one of my heroes, Frank Laubach, I include one of the Gospels in my prayer time.

The Gospels are the place in the Bible where we discover Jesus’ actions, attitudes, and teachings. They are the best place to learn how to live a Jesus-kind-of-life.

When I read the verses for today’s blog article I ask the Lord, “What do you want to remove from my life?”

Luke 19.45-46Then he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling things there; and he said, “It is written,

‘My house shall be a house of prayer’;
but you have made it a den of robbers.”

How This Works

Here is how I apply this passage to myself.

(1) The inner self of a disciple is a temple for the Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own?

For you were bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.

Imagine a slave market. A benevolent merchant entered the market and purchased you for the sole purpose of setting you free.

We were slaves to sin and Jesus bought us at the cost of his shed blood on the cross. He set us free from the dominion of sin.

We experience freedom to the greatest degree when we give our allegiance to Jesus through the presence of the Holy Spirit in our inner self.

Our bodies serve as temples for the indwelling Holy Spirit.

(2) “I’m in control. You be in control.”

Several years ago, I had an appointment with a pastor in a Southeast Missouri town. His secretary invited me to take a seat and said, “The pastor is in the building, but he is not available at the moment.”

I waited 20 or 30 minutes for the pastor to appear, none to happy about the situation.

When the pastor finally appeared, we went into his office where he said, “I had a disturbing phone call before you got here. I’ve been upstairs in the building telling God, ‘I’m in control. You be in control.'”

I don’t remember the nature of our conversation, but I have remembered his commitment to the direction of the Holy Spirit for over 35 years.

When we pray and invite Jesus to drive out of our lives anything that he doesn’t like, we are imitating this pastor.

We are saying to God, “I’m in control, but I want you to be in control of my life.”

(3) My concern for the Church.

In today’s YouTube video, I began our discussion with my concern for the Church. I stopped myself from giving full vent to my concerns.

I remembered that I am a good “speck inspector,” but have a difficult time seeing the “log” in my own eye. (See Matthew 7.1-7 for Jesus’ thoughts.)

As we are praying for the church in America, God doesn’t need our diagnosis of the problem. Still, we can invite Jesus to cleanse his church.

We also can ask him to remind the church that we have been bought with a price and that we should glorify God in all that we do.

A Tragic Response

As I read the Gospel, I keep wondering why people who have dedicated their lives to God would resist the Son of God.

Luke 19.47-48 Every day he was teaching in the temple. The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people kept looking for a way to kill him;

But they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were spellbound by what they heard.

I asked Rudy Ross in today’s video why people, who were devoted to God, would oppose Jesus so strongly. He reminded me of how the leaders were commanded to protect the people from false prophets.

The charge against Jesus by the religious authorities was in keeping with God’s direction in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 13.1-3, 5 – If prophets or those who divine by dreams appear among you and promise you omens or portents,

And the omens or the portents declared by them take place, and they say, “Let us follow other gods” (whom you have not known) “and let us serve them,”

You must not heed the words of those prophets or those who divine by dreams; for the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you indeed love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul.

But those prophets or those who divine by dreams shall be put to death for having spoken treason against the Lord your God—who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery—to turn you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk.

So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

The strong opposition of the religious authorities is a reminder to approach judgment of another with humility and grace.

When I’m in control, I need to ask God to be in control. Before I condemn another disciple, I need to ask Jesus to remove anything he doesn’t like from my life.

I need to remind myself that we all have been bought with a price and our role is to glorify God with the way we conduct our lives.

YouTube Video and Prayer

Rudy Ross and I have produced a YouTube video on this passage. Rudy’s insights into this passage are valuable. The videos are on the Bob Spradling YouTube channel.

Please email your prayer request to bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. The Maywood prayer team will pray for you.

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